World Politics Review

The Ukrainian crisis has aroused an ugly array of thugs, from the snipers who fired on protesters in Kiev to pro-Russian biker gangs. But numerous multilateral organizations have been implicated too.

Read the full World Politics Review article here.

Mar 03, 2014
Richard Gowan
Europe

Will the Ukrainian revolution help or harm the Syrian rebellion? The two uprisings currently appear to be on very different trajectories. It is three years since Syrian citizens began protests against President Bashar Assad, precipitating the cycle of violence that would lead to civil war. By contrast, Assad’s Ukrainian counterpart, Viktor Yanukovych, was forced from the capital, Kiev, last week after just three months of demonstrations. Assad may view Yanukovych’s humiliation as proof of the need for utter ruthlessness against his opponents. But the two men’s fates remain intertwined.

Feb 25, 2014
Richard Gowan
Europe, Middle East, Syria

Foreign affairs specialists snickered last week as an unknown source released a recording of Victoria Nuland, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs at the U.S. State Department, saying, “F**k the EU.” Nuland used the expletive during a phone discussion of potential arrangements for overseeing a political transition in Ukraine, which has been in turmoil since its government rejected an economic deal with Brussels under Russian pressure last year.

Feb 10, 2014
Richard Gowan
Europe, United States
United Nations

What do you see when you look at the Central African Republic (CAR)? The crisis in the previously largely unknown former French colony is becoming a Rorschach test for international policymakers. Few would deny that the CAR has endured a hellish breakdown of basic order that has claimed at least 2,000 lives and forced a quarter of the country’s 4 million citizens from their homes.

Feb 03, 2014
Richard Gowan
Sub-Saharan Africa

Can Estonian soldiers defend their country by fighting in the middle of Africa? Last week, the European Union approved plans to send up to 1,000 troops to the Central African Republic (CAR). Perhaps surprisingly, Estonia was the first EU member to make a firm pledge of ground forces to the mission, which will reinforce existing French and African contingents. Other eastern EU members, including Poland and the Czech Republic, are also reportedly considering participating, while Britain and Germany have hung back.

Jan 27, 2014
Richard Gowan
Europe, Horn of Africa

When diplomats gathered at the United Nations last week to launch a series of commemorations of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, there was much talk of the need for decisive responses to early signs of future mass atrocities. By contrast, actual diplomacy to manage today’s well-advanced crises in Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic (CAR) was more tentative.

Jan 20, 2014
Richard Gowan

In the past month, events in the long, drawn-out process toward the dissolution of ETA, the violent Basque separatist organization, have taken a surprising turn.

Read the full World Politics Review article here

Jan 15, 2014
Teresa Whitfield
Europe

It is an absolute certainty that 2014 will be a turbulent year for the United Nations. The organization is struggling with crises ranging from the chaos in the Central African Republic (CAR) to the plight of Syrian refugees. There is little hope that these challenges will dissipate soon. Yet two sets of peace talks this month could well decide whether the U.N. faces a truly dreadful year ahead, or just a very difficult one. 

Jan 06, 2014
Richard Gowan
Horn of Africa, Middle East, Syria

After two weeks of slaughter in South Sudan, UNMISS, the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the country, faces three possible scenarios: fragile success, prolonged agony and decisive failure. In the first and best scenario, the mission will manage to hold together militarily long enough for more-or-less sincere political talks to end the violence. In the second, it might muddle through in the face of half-hearted negotiations and spasmodic but serious violence, trying to save as many lives as possible.

Dec 30, 2013
Richard Gowan
Horn of Africa

Is there a lonelier or more poorly understood warrior than Francois Hollande?

Read the full World Politics Review article here.

Dec 12, 2013
Richard Gowan
Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa

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